Write a little about yourself. Just a paragraph will do.
Do you get high from walking in the rain? In a sentence, that's
what I want. When I wake to the scratch of falling sleet, and the
copper oak leaves stand out against the birches, the changing
season is magic, and I want someone to share it with.
I want to talk and stretch ideas. Join me in geekery. I'm
unabashedly smart and glad to be challenged, glad to admit what I
don't know, buoyed by all I do know. Islamic Spain, ghazals, names
of mushrooms, mitochondria, the things I want to know keep
I have written a novel, and I'm working on another. Writing makes
me feel alive. Music can work the same way. I can play contradance
music by ear sometimes. I've camped under white pines with 200
people and played and danced along a lake shore. Sitting on the
grass and feeling the music in the soles of your feet, feeling it
lift and swing in response to what you play, is joyful.
I can ride a horse and drive a tractor and throw a hay bale. In a
flat calm, I can persuade a row boat across a cove. I walk in zig
zags and stop to touch and smell and feel and kick up leaves. And I
love living where I live, in these hills.
I'm a novelist and a poet and a journalist in the country. I spend
my days learning why artists and singers and welders and
mycologists love what they love and trying to build community. I'm
happy and close to my family and damn lucky.
What am I looking for? Someone who will talk with me and listen
with me. Someone who can relax with me. Someone who'll grab hands
with me and spin in circles. Someone who will understand why I
would rather read or walk or bake or do something tangible than
watch television. (I like movies, and I can quote most of Princess
Bride back at you.)
I want to hold and be held. My family taught me to share space and
make treasure hunts and sing while I wash the dishes and work out
fights and stay present with someone crying and ease someone sick
and face the hard talks and throw tennis balls for the dog, and I
I know how it feels to want a friend fearlessly, wholly. I want
that feeling back.
What I’m doing with my life
Don’t overthink this one; tell us what you’re doing day-to-day.
I edit a weekly arts and community section in the local paper. And
I love it. My magazine is growing. I get to talk to people about
what they love, and be curious and call it work. I get to be a
generalist. A Shakespearean actor on tour with 'Romeo and Juliet'
once told me, "I get to fall in love every day." I do too, with
stories: why moose live on the ridges, why the newest artist at the
museum just north loves the poetry of Agha Shahid Ali, why Edith
Wharton read Walt Whitman's poetry with friends on the terrace at
night, what it really felt like to work in a textile mill ...
It's a high-speed job, expecially in summer, but my section is my
own, and I'll take that trade any time. It also feels like work
worth doing. Newspapers bring people together and help to keep
creative life going. Who else tells people what their communities
are doing, and what their community is, and can be? People do care
about community. But it's easier to care when someone helps explain
what's there to care about. Because keeping track of 100,000 people
in a county takes work.
I'm good at caring about institutions that are changing under
pressure. My grandparents have a small farm, and I spent summers
working there in high school and college, riding an old quarter
horse mare on wood roads and falling off. Now, part of what I'm
doing with my life — what I'm really doing — is shopping a novel
about an old dairy farm and writing a new book on my own.
I’m really good at
Go on, brag a little (or a lot). We won’t judge.
Writing. Falling off horses. Learning contradance music by ear, in
coffee shops or at a camp in a white pine wood, from French
Canadian fiddlers. Baking bread without looking at the recipe.
Climbing on counters to reach the top shelf. Walking into doors
when I'm tired. Walking an hour each way to work on long days, when
I need to get outside for awhile. Listening. Asking questions
(after more than a dozen years of reporting, diving into workshops,
working at a writing center and mentoring freelancers.) Getting
lost. Getting found again eventually.
The first things people usually notice about me
I’m an empty essay… fill me out!
I'm five feet tall, and I have a lot of hair. I tell myself stories
by instinct, get easily distracted by shiny details, and have been
known to walk into telephone poles (and apologize to them). My car
is full of books.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
Help your potential matches find common interests.
My house is also full of books — I read for company and comfort and
curiosity. Among favorites: Dorothy Sayers' 'Gaudy Night' and
'Pride and Prejudice,' Louise Erdrich's 'The Last Report on the
Miracles at Little No Horse,' Alan Garner's 'Thursbitch,' E.M.
Forster's 'A Room with a view' and 'Kamila Shamsie's 'Kartography'
(my newest discovery) ...
Nonfiction too, Verlyn Klinkenborg and Charles Mann's '1491,' Hal
Borland's reports on the frogs and grass spiders and timberdoodles
in his fields ... and Nikki Giovanni's poetry, Robert Frost, Donald
Hall, Agha Shahid Ali ...
Toni Morrison's "Beloved" is one of the most powerful books I have
ever read. As one of her main characters says, "It's good to have a
woman who's a friend of your mind."
And for comfort I read good mysteries and fantasy, Robin McKinley,
Ellis Peters, Tony Hillerman, Connie Willis, Susan Cooper, Tolkien,
Terry Pratchett ... lots of people.
Music — contradance tunes, Quebeçois whistle, folk, Beatles,
singers and songwriters from Amadou et Mariam to Ooozomatli to Kris
Delmhorst. I would be glad to learn more.
Food — most of what I cook comes out of my farm share and simple
things like the raost chicken in the oven right now. I'm not
vegetarian (one of my favorite places is a farm that raises beef
cattle), but like knowing where my food came from and how it was
treated, and I eat vegetarian a fair amount. I've rarely met a food
I don't like, and I'm happy to explore.
The six things I could never do without
Think outside the box. Sometimes the little things can say a lot.
Taking 'things' literally:
Recorders (instruments, soprano and tenor at least)
I spend a lot of time thinking about
Global warming, lunch, or your next vacation… it’s all fair game.
What kind of pie to make to bring to my next roleplaying night, and
when strawberries will be ready for picking. How to give friends or
family warmth when they need it.
What questions about the characters in my stories I haven't
answered (why does the farmer's wife like sitting on the porch in
What my brother, sister, parents, friends are doing, and what I
would like to do with them.
What stories I want to tell about the place I live in, for my
magazine — because walking around an exhibit of Japanese art in the
morning, geese flying on golden screens and pottery glazed like
deep water, and then watching a naturalist look up peeper calls
with a gray tree frog sitting on his thumb — there's no better way
to spend a day.
Where to hike next, and whether that's a red oak or a black oak by
the bark. How rural communities can continue to grow and offer
interesting work, now that the mills are dead and the farms are
dying. What used bookstore to explore next.
On a typical Friday night I am
Netflix and takeout, or getting your party on — how do you let loose?
Working a night shift at the paper, drinking iced coffee, eating
chocolate, and pausing for dinner at an outdoor table, watching
seed pods blow off the trees.
Or lounging with a friend, watching 'Slings and Arrows' with
leftovers and buttered toast. Or falling asleep over a book,
planning to get up not-very-early to get my share of farm
vegetables on the way to a music jam. Or setting off to visit a
friend at a distance. Or contradancing.
You should message me if
Offer a few tips to help matches win you over.
You'd like to talk. You're willing to be curious in all directions.
You like hiking, maybe looking for moose sign or ravens flying
loop-de-loops. You think puttering round used bookstores is a
relaxing way to spend a vacation. You think thinking is important.
You like to play with words — or you understand that I do.
You can get high from walking in the rain.
Who are you looking for?
This helps us know who to show you on OkCupid.